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Taiwan Execs Stole Avery Secrets, U.S. Charges

September 06, 1997|Bloomberg News

A Taiwanese businessman and his daughter were arrested by the FBI on charges that they stole adhesive-manufacturing trade secrets from Avery Dennison Corp., the Justice Department said. Pin Yen Yang, president of Taiwan's Four Pillars Enterprise Co., and his daughter, Hwei Chang "Sally" Yang, a corporate officer, were charged after allegedly negotiating to buy secrets from an Avery employee who was cooperating with the FBI. Since 1989, the U.S. charged, the pair had obtained other trade secrets belonging to Avery, which makes pressure-sensitive adhesive labels, tags and other products. The FBI said Pasadena-based Avery Dennison uncovered the theft through an internal investigation. It also said the case is one of the first in the U.S. under a new economic espionage law. The information involved materials that reportedly cost Avery about $50 million to $60 million in research and development costs. Avery Dennison officials had no immediate comment. The arrests mark the second industrial-espionage case in recent weeks involving Taiwanese companies. With annual revenue of about $150 million, Four Pillars makes adhesive products that are sold in the U.S. and Asia. Avery shares fell 25 cents to close at $41.06 on the NYSE.

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